CBI chief’s removal hasty: Justice Patnaik

New Delhi, January 12

Terming the decision to remove CBI Director Alok Verma as “hasty”, former Supreme Court judge AK Patnaik, who supervised the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) probe against him, has said there was no evidence of corruption against the IPS officer.

Repeated attempts to reach Justice Patnaik failed as he didn't take calls. But sources close to him said the findings in the CVC report were not his and he had submitted his report to the court in November last year.

The Centre had on October 23 divested Verma of all his powers as CBI chief and sent him on leave and the decision was challenged by him before the Supreme Court.

Two days after the SC ordered his reinstatement, a high-powered panel of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Supreme Court judge AK Sikri and Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge had on January 10 removed Verma as CBI Director and transferred him to the post of Director General, Fire Services, Civil Defence and Home Guards after it found that he had not been functioning with integrity expected of him. Kharge had opposed the decision and given a dissent note.

Verma, who was due to retire on January 31, chose not to take up the new assignment and resigned from service. “As a career bureaucrat, it is the idea of my integrity that has been the driving force for four decades in public service,” Verma said in his resignation letter denying allegations of corruption.

In the process he earned the dubious distinction of being the first CBI Director in 55 years of the probe agency's history who faced such an action. 

Verma has been at loggerheads with CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana who had written to Cabinet Secretariat leveling serious allegations of corruption against him. It was the allegations in Asthana's complaint against Verma which was being probed by the CVC.  The CBI under Verma had registered a corruption case against Asthana and the Delhi HC on Friday refused to quash it.  — TNS

Govt set wrong precedent: shiv Sena     

Mumbai: In an editorial in “Saamana”, the Shiv Sena said the government has set “wrong precedents” by denying Alok Verma an opportunity to defend himself.  “If the PM can use every platform to defend himself amid Rafale allegations, why such a chance was not given to the ousted CBI chief?” it said. PTI

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